The past couple of days I have felt like I’ve pretty much disappointed everyone around me.
I don’t even know how it happened, really. I don’t wake up thinking today will be the day I let everyone down. I don’t know, honestly, how I can seem to fail in such crazy ways when my heart truly is one for others. I’m sure I’m like you where we wake and want to do our best and to just be good in this world. And when that best doesn’t feel like enough or when it’s not seen or when we’ve just had enough it can be just so painful. Maybe I feel like I’ve disappointed me too. After all, today, on top of it, I sent my 6th grader to school not believing he was sick and then he comes home with a 103 fever.
It’s so easy to attach #fail to a day. Or a couple of days.
So tears have flown.
Big tears friends.
Being a human is hard sometimes.
Being a human in a world of expectations and to-do lists and overwhelm and hurrying up and deadlines and friendships and work and motherhood is really hard sometimes.
We’re looked to have it all together and yet, sometimes, especially during the stress of the holidays if you’re like me you trip and don’t even realize it until your knees are kind of skinned up and you’re wondering what’s happened. And by then you’re behind and just getting caught up seems daunting and everyone is racing ahead while you catch your breath.
I’m really tired.
That’s what I told my friend this morning.
I’m tired of feeling like I don’t do enough or measure up or that I don’t fit in the parameters that are set out for me.
So today today I’m letting it all go.
I’m letting go of unhealthy expectations and am instead choosing to focus on what I write about – the little things in life. When I look at the big picture I get overwhelmed because too often the big picture is tainted by unrealistic expectations that don’t define worth and distort the beauty of the big picture.
You see, being a friend and being a human means understanding. It means grace. It means learning to see things through a different paradigm than the one we’re living in. It means that you and I start to see ourselves with much more grace for where we are and that we are doing our best and we stop being so hard on ourselves.
It means learning from the past but not letting it define our today.
So to you reading these words. You choking in a world of expectations and to-do lists and sometimes overwhelm I want you to let them go – just for a moment. You can pick them back up – you can let them be there – but right now I just want you to breathe. I want you to see that you – the core of you – is truly valuable. And in being valuable you are worth filling your life with that which is good and beautiful.
You bring joy to your kids’ lives.
You are the one who kisses the skinned knees and bumped heads and makes them better. You are the one rocking them at 2 am. You are the one demanding answers when none seem to be found. You are the one making tough decisions. You are the one rolling cookie dough out and knowing it will be mess but doing it anyway. You are the one giving and giving and giving.
Sometimes it may seem that we are lost in the stream of life and motherhood and that we don’t matter.
But, you know, you not only matter but you, my sweet sister, are a life giver.
Your kids need you. Believe me they do.
Your friends need you. Trust me.
Sometimes this whole thing can just hurt and be hard. I know. I’ve shed enough tears the past couple days. But, my friends, I’m not sitting there. We’re not sitting there. Instead we are going to work together to fill our lives with good. To fight for our hearts. And to see the little things. And to be the voice of encouragement versus discouragement for those in our lives.
We don’t need critics during this journey. We need friends. We need friends who remind us to see the beauty in life and the way we matter and how life is a gift.
The little things.
Like ornaments made by kindergarteners. Cookies from Santa. Falling snow. Friends that are real friends. The way the clouds turn pink in winter. Eggnog lattes made at 4:14 pm. The ability of us to connect via this amazing medium known as the internet.
Hope for the future.
I’m so thankful you read these words.
Maybe I’m thankful because they made me feel just a bit less alone. Maybe they reminded me of the little things that are beautiful things. But, more than all of that, it was this connection between you and me and all these different moms who believe in living full lives. In a group of us who are tired of expectations of worth based off of externals but instead are willing to love and link arms with each other – as imperfect sojourners in this world – and sticking through with each other.
When we encourage we give hope.
So today, encourage. Be the friend that looks at her friends and tells them you appreciate her.
You will change their lives.